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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 5, 2019

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1784Subpart C → §1784.23


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1784—RURAL ALASKAN VILLAGE GRANTS
Subpart C—Application Processing


§1784.23   Lead Agency Environmental Review.

(a) The Agency designated as the lead agency for the purposes of this grant program, will fulfill and agree to be responsible for complying with lead agency requirements for:

(1) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as outlined in 40 CFR 1501.5, Lead agencies;

(2) National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 review process as outlined in 36 CFR part 800.2(a)(2) Lead Federal agency; and

(3) Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act as outlined in 50 CFR 402.07, Designation of lead agency.

(b) All environmental findings and determinations made by the lead agency represent those of the cooperating agencies and will be completed in accordance with the procedures outlined in this section.

(c) RUS will, to the extent possible and in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.2 and 7 CFR part 1970, participate with DEC, IHS, and ANTHC to cooperatively or jointly prepare environmental review documents so that one document will comply with all applicable laws.

(d) For projects administered by DEC and ANTHC, RUS agrees to participate as a cooperating agency in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.6 and 7 CFR part 1970, and relies upon those agencies' procedures for implementing NEPA as further described below.

(e) The lead agency will indicate that RUS is a cooperating agency in all NEPA-related notices published for the proposed action.

(f) A construction grant may not be approved until all environmental findings and determinations have been made according to the following:

(1) Rural Utilities Service Lead Agency. If RUS is the lead agency, the environmental review process, including all findings and determinations, will be completed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970.

(2) DEC Lead Agency. In the event DEC is the lead agency, the environmental review process, including all findings and determinations will be completed in accordance with the environmental review process outlined in Appendix A to the June 15, 2011 MOU.

(3) IHS Lead Agency. For projects administered by ANTHC, IHS will be the lead agency for the environmental review process, including all findings and determinations. The environmental review process, including all findings and determinations will be completed in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services policies and procedures in General Administration Manual, Part 30, Council on Environmental Quality regulations at 40 CFR 1500-1508 and with procedures published by IHS in the Federal Register, Vol. 58, No.3, page 569, January 6, 1993. The ANTHC shall notify the funding agencies and the IHS if a change in the project or project scope occurs which could change any previously prepared environmental findings or determinations or could adversely impact the environment. In the event of an unanticipated discovery of a historic property or other environmental resource, the ANTHC shall stop construction activity in the area of the discovery and notify the appropriate authority and the IHS. Mitigation options resulting from unanticipated discoveries, including but not limited to changes in project scope or cancellation of the project will be evaluated by the funding agencies in collaboration with the ANTHC and IHS. If appropriate and necessary, mitigation plans will be negotiated and approved by all parties. When the funding agencies have approved a mitigation plan and IHS has reaffirmed its environmental review process, including all findings and determinations, the ANTHC will be authorized to initiate the agreed to mitigation plan. The IHS shall bear no mitigation costs as it is not a funding agency for projects under this part.

(g) RUS will have an opportunity to review the IHS or DEC environmental review documents, including all findings and determinations to ensure consistency with this part and agency procedures. Where an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required by the lead agency's environmental policies and procedures, the lead agency will ensure that the scope and content of the EA or EIS satisfies the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to RUS. Where an EA and EIS is not required under the applicable lead agency's procedures for implementing NEPA, the review by RUS will be limited to ensure that the applicable lead agency's procedures were followed.

(h) The National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 review requirements completed for ANTHC administered projects will be carried out in accordance with the process described in Appendix B of the June 15, 2011 MOU.

[80 FR 52609, Sept. 1, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 11029, Mar. 2, 2016]

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